Once there was a woman who was set upon by bandits.
They took everything:
more than her money,
more than belongings.
They took her belonging.
They took her name.
And she was left feeling invisible.
But only for a moment.
For as the dust began to settle,
the ones who love appeared
and they put their hands on her
to remind her that she existed
and they spoke her name
over and over again
until she remembered.
They re-membered her.
They re-minded her.
The re-solved her.
And their words became a weaving around her,
each strand holding her name,
each woven pattern saying,
We See you.
We Know you.
So many good people there are in the world, my friends. People who gather ’round and tell you your name when the sky falls, when the bandits strike, when the world comes crashing down.
I’m meditating today on ripple effects. How one person’s pain becomes other people’s pain. How when you comfort and Name someone whose life is imploding, those who’ve been caught by the shrapnel also feel the healing. How hurtful words radiate outward, but so do words of comfort, and those are more lasting.
How the young person who stands up for what she believes is right not only brings more justice to the world, but shows others a pathway. How she instructs others to also stand up and be Present.
How all the kind words and texts and messages and hugs are teaching me how to be better at being Present myself.
Love overcomes hatred. It’s not just a platitude. It’s not just a cliche. And love can be so, so fierce.
1. The musical revue my students (they’ll always be my students) put on this past weekend. What brilliant singing and dancing and acting! What absolute heart and soul!
2. The ocean of kind words.
3. Reminders to write, and to do art.
4. Possibilities. There’s a future out there on the other side of this.
5. Walking these foggy places together. I hear you, too, in your own fogs and brambles. There will come a time when the sun will burn away our fogs, and the thorns will give way to grassy meadows. May you feel yourself Named and Known.
May we walk in Beauty!
“An artist’s duty, as far as I’m concerned, is to reflect the times. I think that is true of painters, sculptors, poets, musicians. As far as I’m concerned, it’s their choice, but I CHOOSE to reflect the times and situations in which I find myself. That, to me, is my duty. And at this crucial time in our lives, when everything is so desperate, when every day is a matter of survival, I don’t think you can help but be involved. Young people, black and white, know this. That’s why they’re so involved in politics. We will shape and mold this country or it will not be molded and shaped at all anymore. So I don’t think you have a choice. How can you be an artist and NOT reflect the times? That to me is the definition of an artist.” —Nina Simone
“A loving silence often has far more power
to heal and to connect than the
most well-intentioned words.” —Rachel Naomi Remen
“The secret to waking up is unscrambling the word earth.” —anonymous
“I have come to regard with some suspicion those who claim that the Bible never troubles them. I can only assume this means they haven’t actually read it.” ―Rachel Held Evans
“What a comfort to know that God is a poet.” ―Rachel Held Evans
“Geometry is the archetype of the beauty of the world.” —Johannes Kepler
“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.” —John Keating (Robin Williams in Dead Poet Society)
“You are the Ground of all being
the Well-Spring of time
Womb of the earth
the Seed-Force of stars.
And so at the opening of this day
not for blessings from afar
but for You
the very Soil of our soul
the early Freshness of morning
the first Breath of day.”
—John Philip Newell